Thursday, July 31, 2008

“The Road Warrior” Goulet Continues to Play Waiting Game

By Kelsey Mowatt -

He has yet to establish himself at the top of the UFC welterweight rankings, but like training partner, long time friend, and current 170lb. champ, Georges St. Pierre, Jonathan Goulet staunchly believes he is more than capable of doing so. Problem is, he’s not sure when or who he’s fighting next. After quickly submitting to an armbar by Dustin Hazelett at UFC Fight Night 11 last September, the Quebec fighter has won three straight, including back to back wins over Paul Georgieff and Kuniyoshi Hironaka at “The Ultimate Fighter” 6 Finale and UFC 83 respectively. If Goulet were to win in his next Octagon appearance his UFC record would sit at 5-3.

“No I don’t know yet,” said Goulet when asked if he knew when he might be competing again. “My manager is trying to find me something for maybe the end of September. I had some big goals for this year, but right now I’m not fighting, so I might have to go for them next year. I wanted to be in the top ten by the end of this year so I hope that my next fight will be the best one of my career.”

Reaching the top ten in the welterweight rankings is no easy task especially when one considers how many talented fighters currently compete for the UFC at 170. At this stage in his career Goulet realizes that he will have to defeat some of the division’s more notable fighters if he hopes to move into this exclusive club.

“I want to fight someone like Diego Sanchez or Karo Parisyan,” said Goulet when asked for names of some fighters he would be interested in fighting. “I would like to fighter either one of those guys. I haven’t really looked at it; I’m just hoping to get a really good match for me.”

Goulet is hesitant to “call out” fighters now after he publicly challenged Mike Swick to a bout last year, was ultimately given the fight, but then lost to Hazelett, when Swick was forced to withdraw due to injury. Swick has gone on to win back to back fights over Josh Burkman and Marcus Davis since he made the move to the UFC welterweight division.

“I hope so,” said Goulet when asked if a bout with Swick might come to pass. “I called him out before but then I lost to Dustin Hazelett, but I think that maybe he would be a good opponent for me before the end of the year, or maybe in Montreal sometime next year.”

Goulet is no stranger to fighting in front of a Montreal crowd, due to the fact the fighter came up competing for Quebec’s TKO promotion, but his most recent win over Hironaka at UFC 83, which took place in the city’s Bell Centre, holds a special place in his heart.

“I would say that was the most beautiful day in my career,” Goulet told FCF. “That was the first time the UFC came to Canada, it was a historic moment, and I was part of history. You know I also got Fight of the Night too, so, it was amazing.”

Of course UFC 83 also featured Georges St. Pierre reclaiming the promotion’s welterweight crown, when he avenged his prior loss to Matt Serra, a moment that Goulet concedes also made the event very memorable for him. GSP will look next to defend his title against Swick’s training partner Jon Fitch at UFC 87 on August 9th.

“Jon Fitch has been built by the UFC,” Goulet said when asked to asses the upcoming bout between his friend and Fitch. “So I don’t see him giving GSP a big challenge on August 9th. Even me, I think I would be able to beat him. We have two opponents in common who I also beat, so yes, I think could beat him. I think Jon Fitch will be another number for Georges.”

In the meantime as Goulet waits to see who and when he will be fighting next, he has been spending time in New York working on his jiu-jitsu game with the highly accomplished Renzo Gracie.

“I haven’t been training that much with the gi,” said Goulet when asked about why he made the decision to head south and train with Gracie. “So I’ve been kind of stuck as a blue belt, but I’ve been improving a lot, I improved a lot when I went to Brazil, and I’ve been training it a lot in Montreal. So I think really soon I’m going to have my purple belt.”



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